Can I control my VAT Return date?

Planning, VAT,

We’re often asked if it’s possible to control the VAT Return date. Contrary to popular opinion, the answer is a resounding yes! And it’s quite an easy process too.

Why would you want to change your VAT Return date?

VAT Returns tend to be due based on your first registration, so usually bear no relation to any business decisions!

There are several reasons why you might want to move your VAT Return date:

Cash flow – Whilst VAT should never be used to supplement day to day cash flow, it still puts cashflow under pressure if it is due for payment during the same month as a rent bill and Corporation tax. Moving it by a month or more allows some breathing space.

Year End – Having your VAT Quarters aligned to your Year end makes everyone’s lives easier and just feels neater! Once your VAT return is done, your records are usually pretty close to being ready for us to start on your accounts.

Convenience – If you have a really busy period within your business, you may prefer not to have to consider the VAT return process at the same time. Your business should work for you, so if it would help to shuffle things back by a month, and there are no adverse implications, you can.

How do you move the VAT Return date?

You can do the whole process by logging in through your Government Gateway using your online account. This is where you would currently file your VAT return.

  1. Log on to the service and select VAT as the service you want to use.
  2. Click on Change Registration Details
  3. Click on Change VAT Return frequency
  4. Answer the question about VAT on purchases
  5. Choose the appropriate VAT return period ends
  6. Follow the instructions to complete the process

Once you have applied for the amendment, you’ll receive confirmation from HMRC of your new quarter. You will probably need to submit your NEXT Return as usual, then start the new schedule. Be sure to double check!

If you’d like to discuss whether moving your VAT return date is a good move for you, or any other matters, please get in touch. We’re here to help!



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